Ferguson Digital Radio FRG-R121D

Ferguson FRG-R121D  This is a FM/DAB mains operated radio.  This is one of several radios which belonged to the late Esme Allan. When I received it the sound output was atrocious! I discovered that an earphone or speaker plugged into the sockets on the rear gave an acceptable distortion free output. On opening the case I immediately found two faults as detailed below the following two photos. The problem seemed to stem from the loudspeaker itself. The output was fine when I substituted a replacement 8 ohm speaker and also when I applied gentle pressure to the cone of the speaker fitted I was able to reduce the distortion. I discovered that the cone had been glued slightly off centre and by carefully working with a craft knife I was able to release the cone and found that the distortion was gone. The cone was glued back in position and the speaker fitted back in the case and care was taken during reassembly to ensure that the punctured ribbon cable was kept out of the way of the fixing screw! Made in China 2007. working. 
Instruction manual can be downloaded here (www.partmaster.co.uk/company/partmaster/manuals/Ferguson%20FRGR121D.pdf)

Specification and details
Supply voltage 230volts AC 50Hz only
Output power 4 Watts
Loudspeaker 4 inch diameter
Frequency coverage: FM 87.5 - 108 MHz DAB 174.928 - 239.200 MHz
Up to eight FM and eight DAB stations can be preset and selected by the buttons on the front panel
On the rear there is a 3.5mm socket for headphone output (loudspeaker muted when jack inserted) and another for an external speaker. There are also two audio line output RCA sockets for connection to an external amplifier.

Close up view of inside of the back panel

Close up view of rear of front panel

Note how a retaining screw has penetrated the ribbon cable on the left of this view. A surplus loose screw was found wedged between the components on this board.


Gradually over a period of time a background hum has become apparent. This is due to the gradual drying out of electrolyte in one or more of the on board capacitors. [see the picture below] So here is how to replace them:
1.Remove all the screws from the back of the set and the one on the underside.
2.Twist and slide the front portion of the radio through the wooden case with all the interconnections in place.
3.Remove the two screws holding the two circuit boards to the back panel.
4.Remove the two screws which hold the board which is connected to the power supply transformer.
5.Temporarily connect a 3300uF or 2200uF capacitor across the existing ones.
6.Switch on to to see if there is an improvement.
7.Remove the faulty component and solder in a replacement.
In my case it proved to be the one nearest the push on connectors and the only one I had to hand was rated at 16 volts and physically larger than the original, so I had to extend the leads slightly.

No display and a popping noise on audio

John Millington has advised that when his radio had this fault he noted that the 1000uF capacitor on the front display board was domed /swollen and when this was replaced the radio once again worked well.